Sunday, 7 June 2009

Is it really worth it?

I think I am having a nasty bout of reality at the moment which I guess is the euphemism I employ when I am thinking about things rather too lucidly for my own liking.

I've had a few minor aches and pains recently, bad back (due, I think, to all the walking on Monday, sleeping funny, or just lifting heavy objects - my son!), and the, to quote the adverts, misery of hayfever symptoms. Also I'm not sticking to my diet, not been cycling into work last week and generally just meandering at the moment.

I've spent the weekend being fairly productive however, seeing my son yesterday and getting some chores done today. Because I've not been out either day I've not bothered with make-up, partly because the hay-fever really was making my eyes stream and anything on my eyes would either make them itch even more or eventually end up smeared all over my face. So I've really been looking at my face, and also the rest of me, without the usual benefit of even the thinnest veneer of artificial femininity.

And it's not really a pleasant sight. It's also not really a very convincing sight either. The reality is that I've only been on hormones for 6months and they don't make significant changes within that time (and given that my dosage has been increased it's arguable that nothing big is going to happen until all the drugs are at the right level).

When it comes down to it there is little real difference between me a year ago and how my body, and to some degree mind, is today. In fact the mind thing is maybe the bit that really has changed the least; there are some changes in my body, obviously, as I've noted before, but really if I sit down and think seriously there isn't any real mental change.

This is something that I once read (paraphrasing): hormones don't make you into a woman, they only deal with the physical changes to make you look more like the one you feel you are. I think what they do help though in giving you something to pin your belief in your real gender identity on. It's hard to feel like a given gender if you don't really feel you look the part.

Being a given gender for so long it is really hard to suddenly become another overnight. While hormones can't undo the changes made during puberty the longer you have been exposed to the "testosterone poisoning" (can't remember where I read that but it sounded apt) the harder it is for them to at least make the best of a bad job and try and smooth (pun intended) out your body. I think the same is true of your mental state, the longer as the wrong gender makes it much harder to become the new (correct) one.

I am finding it difficult to, in some ways, recapture my belief in myself and who and what I am at the moment. Probably not helped by me taking refuge in the distractions I use to indulge in to block everything out, i.e. gadgets, technology, tinkering with computers. I know there should be nothing exclusively 'male' about being totally geeky and nerdy but in my experience it does seem to be so and I also can't help but associate those feelings with the old me.

I'm beginning to see why alot of transsexuals would have facial surgery, it's not only to feminize their appearance more, but to also make it just different so that there isn't the constant reminder of who/what they were.

As ever I take a fairly pragmatic view of everything. Things do upset me, sometimes without me fully acknowledging how much, even to myself, and I do still want to make progress. But I never have been, nor probably ever will be, so upset, angry, distressed, or disturbed about what I am going through to really go to extremes. I always really do just think that things could be worse and that I'm lucky with how my life is even if it could be better. Some would say that, being able to think like that is a good thing, there are times, like now, when I suspect they are wrong.


chrissie said...


I'm sure we've all been there. I know I have. But I eventually sorted it out in my mind by looking at other women in their day-to-day lives.

A hell of a lot of the time, my wife and her friends don't bother with make-up or fancy clothes.

Some days they just wnat to slob.

There's no rule that says we HAVE to wear make-up all the time, or be dressed to kill all the time.

I have lazy periods when I make excuses not to go to the gym, or can't be bothered to do anything more than just sling on any old pants and top combi.

So does my wife.

I feel better for having stopped striving for the perfect image of womanhood.

I often feel that we expect too much too soon, and set our own standards too high. That's an obsrvation and not a criticsim; it's only to be expected, given our previous socialisation.

Don;t be too hard on yourself, cariad.... :)


LucyTolliday said...

There is a long way still to go for inspiration look at the changes in face over a long period of time, 2 years, for instance documented by some on Youtube and other places. For what its worth in your pictures I see a woman. Yes, testosterone wrecks terrible havock physically and mentally but all is not doomed.
Hope your hay fever clears up :)

Calie said...

Hi Fiona,

Chrissie and Lucy make very good points.

Prior to reading the comments, I took a very close look at your picture and I agree with Lucy. It is all girl. I just do not see any former you (as if I knew what the former you looked like) in that picture. And, I love your hair (might have told you that before).

Oh, and Fiona, I only say the truth. If I felt you did not look like the woman you are, I would not have made the comment, above.

Keep the faith, girl!

Calie xxx